Xavier ex-assistant coach found not guilty of sex abuse

FILE - In this March 21, 2009, file photo, then-Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown assistant coach Bryce McKey reacts to a play late in the fourth quarter of the Division II girls Ohio state basketball championship game against Wapakoneta, in Columbus, Ohio. University of Maryland assistant women's basketball coach Bryce McKey has been suspended after a player he coached at Xavier University accused him of groping her, Maryland officials said Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. A Kenton County, Kentucky, prosecutor said an attorney for Bryce McKey entered a not-guilty plea for him Friday on a charge of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) A former Xavier University women's basketball assistant coach who was accused of groping a player was acquitted of misdemeanor charges Monday in Kentucky.

Bryce McKey, 29, was found not guilty of sexual abuse and unlawful transaction with a minor in a bench trial in Covington. The ex-assistant coach pleaded not guilty last year.

A message was left for McKey's attorney, as well as the woman's attorney.

A Xavier player who McKey coached said he asked her to come to his Covington home to help him prepare to move on May 2, 2015, and repeatedly touched her inappropriately.

The player, who was under 21 at the time, said McKey gave her shots of an unidentified ''dark alcohol'' several times, hugged her and touched her. She also testified that he placed his hand on her thigh as they drove back from a restaurant.

But Kenton County District Court Judge Ann Ruttle questioned whether the player's accusations rose to the level of sexual abuse, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/1qEB2b9 ).

''If she truly was uncomfortable about what was going on … why didn't she leave?'' Ruttle said.

Ruttle also said that there were too many times when the woman didn't object. She found that there was no evidence that McKey knew the woman was under 21.

Xavier said McKey wasn't employed there at the time.

McKey had accepted an assistant coach position at the University of Maryland, but resigned after he was charged.

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify people who may have been sexually abused.